Sunday, 15 February 2015

1-70 (No Exploit) 6-7 Hour Leveling Guide & What To Do When You Hit 70

TL:DR: Level up on hard or expert difficulty cherry picking efficient quests, high dense zones, and select cursed chests. At level 70, "slow roll" your greater rifts to maximize legendary gem acquisition while side farming T2 caches in act 1. You'll be able to do T2 and maybe T3/4 in 5-6 hours play time as a conservative estimate. Your mileage may vary based on drops and how much you prayed to RNGesus. Good luck!


With all the talks on exploitive "no kill" leveling for seasons, there still is an interest in legit leveling methods. I'm here to give a LEGIT way to level 1-70 in a timely manner for season 2. The recent Alaric "no kill" exploit is known, you can find that out if you want. You'll get to 70 in about 4 hours that way.

Using this guide you can expect to be 70 in 6-7 hours, a little bit slower in hardcore as you'll still want to take it easy maybe a bit faster in softcore since you can take more risks.

This method was done by myself and a lot of my hardcore clan mates in Season 1. We were were able to get 1-70 in around 7 hours of gameplay. It's by no means blistering, but it helps nevertheless and isn't much longer than those "no kill" exploits.

This guide is for those that don't want to death rush for hours on end or hardcore players who cannot afford to die. You'll gain an advantage of already farming keystone fragments for rifts once you hit 70. I was going to make a YouTube of this (I still might), but honestly it was going to be too long, I'd have to divide it into sub sections, and I feel it is best represented in a wall of text.

In this guide, I'll present two methods of play, and go into tips for group or solo play. It doesn't mean you have to do either specifically in group or solo, both work interchangeably but group play gives you a better advantage over solo play for faster killing speeds.

Difficulty setting

The biggest question is what difficulty do you farm on? Most would say that going on Torments are best, but this isn't the case leveling up. While leveling, you want to be doing damage as often as possible. If you are in too high of a difficulty, monsters and champ packs take too long or you take too much damage and need to back out of combat to regen, or worse you die. You cannot kill monsters or gain XP while dead so you need to stay alive and in combat as much as possible.

To start an evaluation we need a baseline. I went and recorded myself running a bounty on normal difficulty. I went back and analyzed the time I was traveling vs time I was in combat. No matter what difficulty, your travel time will always be the same but your combat time will increase. I found for a 6 minute bounty, it was roughly a 50:50 split on travel:combat. We now have our baseline. I can then multiply each combat time by the increase in monster HP and get a scaled time for how long that bounty would take in a higher difficulty. So to keep it easy, here are the results below. **The reason XP bonus and XP total are different. Normal has zero% XP bonus, hard gets 75%. But your baseline has to be 100%, hard gives you 175% XP. I am simply adding 100% to all values. I will get back to formating it in a table later if this is jacked up (doing this on a tablet for now).

DifficultyMonster HPXP BonusTravel MINCombat MinTotal MINTime Longer Than NormalXP Total
Torment I819300324.627.64.64
Torment II1311400339.342.375

Now,what does all this mean? Look at the last two columns. Hard difficulty, takes 1.5 times as long (9 total minutes vs 6) but rewards 1.75x XP (175% vs 100%). So Hard is more efficient than normal and at a positive ratio. Moving up the list, we find expert takes 2.1 times longer than normal but gives 2.0 times the XP. It's around an equal ratio to normal so not really much of a gain. As you move up you see the ratio is still about 1:1 until you get to Torment I and Torment II. Torment II takes 7x as long to kill stuff but you only get 5x the XP so its not worth it. It only gets worse the higher up you are. You're also taking a lot of damage at that point and it becomes more difficult to stay alive.

Overall, HARD is the most constantly efficient difficulty to level on.

The only exception to this is when you get something like a sick upgrade and are slightly above the curve killing things. The biggest time this happens is in the transition from 60-61 as you move to RoS items/gems. Here, you can bump up a difficulty or two but you should drop back down to Hard as you approach 70.

Furthermore, going higher isn't always a good option for Hardcore players and you're just taking a greater risk for death and a restart in HC or no XP gain and buff loss in SC.

Leveling Tips
  • Top tip from /u/snowhawk04 is to go to adventure mode immediately and steal a weapon from a follower as these weapons are free and better than your starting weapons. The Templar has a spear and the Enchantress has a dagger. Scoundrel has an Xbow.
  • Another tip, when you're level 45ish get your blacksmith to the point where he can create level 60 weapons and roll level reduction on it, so You can farm way easier until then. (Credit /u/xShuusui) Look for a weapon with freeze/stun/fear or other crowd control and roll off the OTHER secondary stat as this reduces possible affixes by a great amount. (/u/Aenoch_EUW)
  • Buy rings/amulets with min-max damage from the fence as soon as possible. Even town vendors have weapons early on that give decent boosts. While leveling though, you'll find 2h are the highest DPS increases due to the recent 2h buffs.

Focus zone/bounty farming

The first method is to cherry pick zone clear bounties, cursed chest events and tie in heavily dense zones. You can check out for a complete list of bounties. Not all XP tables are updated (and are for level 70) the bounties you want are ones with high XP reward and ease to complete.
  • Zone clear bounties: these bounties give the most XP than any other and are simply finding a dungeon and killing all monsters on a given floor. The easiest ones are those that have easy to find entrances: A1 - Khazra Den, Scavenger's Den, Den of the Fallen, Cave of the Moon Clan. A3: Icefall Caves. A4: Hell Rift. there are other zone clears but these are the easiest to find in their respective zones and have easy layouts to navigate.
  • Cursed Chest bounties: The Cursed Chest events to look for are the ones that require 100 kills for the bonus chest. These reward more XP on completion and more XP per monster kill than the wave type. You're really only looking for acts 1 and 4 for these. A1: Cursed Bellows (Halls of Agony), Cursed Cellar (Old Ruins), The Cursed Court (Cathedral Level 2), The Cursed Grove (Fields of Misery) and The Cursed Hatchery (Spider Cave). A4 you are looking for The Cursed Chapel (The Silver Spire Level 2).
  • Heavily dense zones. These are zones with easy monsters (i.e. heavily melee based) and relatively simple/linear map layouts to minimize backtracking. You will want to complete any bounty in these zones butSKIP boss kills as they take too long for the XP rewards. A1: Halls of Agony Level 3, Weeping Hollow, Cathedral Level 2. Fields of Misery is an honorable mention. If you're on higher difficulties, the ranged guys can really rip into you. But playing on Hard shouldn't be that difficult. A3: Keep Depths Level 2 a bit dangerous for HC, so I suggest only going here for SC.

You can clear all bounties in an act to make things easier, but I would suggest running 4 and skipping boss fights. Again, the fights take too long for such little XP gains and are not worth it in the long run. If you do this method, stick to Act 1 only as the mobs and bounties are a joke.

Group Play VS Solo Play

The best way to level is to have a group of 4 to get the free group XP buff. Each player gives a 10% XP buff when in range of each other, and each additional player gives monsters a 50% increase in HP. Four players putting out the same damage means 400% damage output but only 250% monster HP. This further increases your efficiency. You can either split farm zones/bounties on a lower difficulty or stick together (with 30% bonus) and kill in a higher difficulty.

For solo play, you want to maximize killing speed, so I suggest Hard all the way to 61, then bump up to Expert or Master for a few levels and drop back down to hard. Your mileage may vary, but remember, fast killing is good. You don't want to be struggling to kill monsters. 1-2 shots are ideal and even better are DoT abilities like "rend and run" where you leave monsters to die behind you while you move on.

What do you do once you hit 70?

The benefits of leveling legit, you gain rift keystone fragments from bounties. This way, you can jump straight into rifts at level 70 for double legendary drop rates and not have to farm bounties on a low difficulty. With the new bounty changes, you want to save bounty farming for T2+ to get that 50%+ chance at cache rewards. To get quickly into torments, you need legendary gems. The fastest way to get your base gems is by "slow rolling" your greater rifts.

To get a greater rift trial, you need to be in Torment I+. You will do your first rifts in normal, because there is no benefit running hard-master in rifts for legendary drop rates. This gets you baseline rare gear and a few single legendary items. Do not enchant these starter legendary items!!! You are better off saving your souls for better items and crafting sets and weapons to try for ancient items.

This will be your Softcore post 70 strategy this will be slowed down for HC players as you cannot jump difficulties as fast. Instead of the normal -> torment jump, go up each single difficulty as you feel comfortable.
  • Ding 70
  • Do normal rifts to get a new baseline of level 70 gear. Enchanting rates is OK and cheap, but don't go overboard. I try one enchant and select the best.
  • Move up to Torment 1 once you have all 70 gear, max sockets in chest and legs with diamonds for defense, amethyst in helm, emeralds in weapons.
  • Run T1 rifts until you get a greater rift trial.
  • Run the trial but TP out and fail it on purpose to get a level 1 greater rift. This level 1 greater rift is equal to normal difficulty but you can still get torment level drops in it AND you'll be getting legendary gems.
  • Bump the game to T2 and go in your level 1 greater rift
  • "Slow roll" the rift by killing it as fast as you can, but just before (or after) you spawn the guardian, take note of the remaining time left and TP to town.

Go start a bounty in act1 to farm for your RoRG. You'll likely get one bounty done as you'll be under geared (groups greatly help) for T2. WHEN YOU FINISH THE BOUNTY USE YOUR MAP TO PORTAL TO TOWN. DO NOT TP AS YOU ARE PRESERVING YOUR GREATER RIFT TOWN PORTAL!
Say you had 8 minutes left, you want to kill the RG with less than 4:30 left to get +1 greater rift and maximize your runs off one trial key. You get 100% drop chance of legendary gems until you have all of them. After you complete the bounty, click your greater rift TP that is still there and kill the RG with less than 4:30 remaining.
Rinse/repeat this for the rest of the act bounties and keep +1 your greater rift keystone. As you progress in greater rifts, you'll get legendary gems and socket those into rare (cheaper to do) jewelry and you'll notice bounties getting easier and easier and same with greater rifts.

You should be able to get into the teens of greater rifts and have a few 50% drop chance act 1 caches as well from one trial stone. By this point, the combination of your gear and gems means you'll likely be able to bump up to T2-T3 and maybe T4 farming if you got some lucky drops. At this point, you do not need to "slow roll" greater rifts and you can farm normally, level up your gems, find/gamble for your respective class set pieces on your way to T6 and beyond farming.